Long-Term Improvement in Urinary Incontinence in an Elite Female Athlete Through the Laser Treatment: A Case Report.Okui, N., Ikegami, T., Mikic, A.N., Okui, M. & Gaspar, A.
Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) is increasing in elite female athletes (EFAs), affecting competition results and quality of life. Pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT) is the first-line treatment for SUI, and surgery is generally performed when PFMT is insufficient. However, in EFA, there are few cases in which surgery is performed and fewer reports. Therefore, there is no known general treatment strategy for EFA with SUI.
Materials and methods:
In our study, a 23-year-old track-and-field medalist with severe SUI was successfully treated with a vaginal and urethral erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser (VEL + UEL). After 12 treatments over one year, urinary incontinence decreased from 300 mL or more in the 400 m track run before treatment to 0 mL. She did not experience any more problems during running or competition. There was no recurrence of SUI for three years, and the urethral pressure profile examination confirmed improvement.
MRIs showed that the left puborectalis muscle was absent from the first visit. The urethra was oval with an anteroposterior outer diameter of 10 mm and a transverse outer diameter of 13 mm before treatment. However, after three years of treatment, both anteroposterior and transverse diameters became circular, measuring 11 mm. Vaginal wall thickness increased from 8 to 12 mm at the center of the height of the urethra, making it possible to support the urethra, and pretreated adipose tissue space between the urethra and vagina disappeared.
It was noted that the uneven and fragile urethra/vagina, the presence of adipose tissue space, and the absence of the left puborectalis muscle may have been the cause of the SUI. One year of VEL + UEL treatment resulted in long-term improvement of SUI; MRI showed changes in the urethra and vagina.
pelvic floor muscle training, anteroposterior and transverse urethral diameters, pelvic floor muscles, puborectalis muscle, therapeutic targets, erbium yag laser, elite female athletes, stress urinary incontinence